We had a dilemma.
Clint and I both work from home. (This isn't the dilemma.)
My work is defined...I get it done in the evenings when little ones are in bed or work on weekend crafts while Evee sits beside also working on crafts.
Clint's work, on the other hand, is more constant...all times throughout the day. His working space is open and right next to the kitchen. We love having him right there, but Evee tends to chat to him all the time... Me to, I won't lie.
He often has headphones on and Evee will still chat away not noticing the lack of reciprocation, other times waiting for an answer. And I constantly hear "daddy, daddy, dad" while he can't hear her. In the end either Evee isn't heard or Clint isn't getting work done. Therein lies the dilemma.
I had an idea. It's simple.
We put up a string. It is red and just a string, but it's helpful.
When Clint is at his desk and working he puts up this red piece of yarn. It creates a barrier...as small as it may be.
I told Evee that when dad puts up the string we pretend he is invisible. And honestly, I think it's as much for Clint since he often turns around to engage with whatever we are up to.
We keep a notepad nearby to write notes on. They are to remind Evee of the things she wants to tell him when the string comes down. Very important tidbits. Like..."I ate applesauce" or "Iris is awake".
At first it seems harsh...to put up a boundary. But for us it's a thing of beauty. Talking and listening when one can actually be heard, getting work done while still being "around", enjoying each other and feeling appreciated.
In the end, we all love it. We function better in our little space. It's kind of fun even.
And I'm reminded (on a deeper level) that boundaries matter. And can even be good, not to mention healthy.